“I want Anderson Silva money.”
It’s been a catchphrase tossed around the MMA world ever since UFC president Dana White confirmed that Lyoto Machida was asking for a hefty raise in order to accept a fight on short notice against Rashad Evans at UFC 133.
In the end, Machida turned down the fight, and the UFC moved on. They had Tito Ortiz fill the slot against Evans at the Philadelphia event that went down a few weeks ago.
Machida has received more than his fair share of criticism for stating that he wanted more money to accept the fight, but according to his manager, the whole situation was blown out of proportion.
“I think there was a lot more to it than what was explained,” Machida’s manager Ed Soares told MMAWeekly Radio. “Sometimes things get a little twisted, and there’s reasons behind it, it wasn’t just because of the money. At the end of the day, what people need to understand is there’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes.”
Soares explains that Machida was hesitant to take the fight in the first place for a variety of reasons, but like for anybody else in the world, money talks.
“For instance, his elbow wasn’t 100-percent. That wasn’t as big of a deal, but two of his three cornermen didn’t have visas to get into the country and wouldn’t be in there. He’s taking the fight on less than three weeks notice, his family is totally against him taking the fight, so when you put all of those things onto the scale and weigh it, and let’s just say worst case scenario and he comes in and loses. Whatever place has your record, it’s going to just say a loss. There isn’t an asterisk next to it saying ‘loss, but didn’t have two of his three cornermen, took the fight on three weeks notice.’ It just says loss,” Soares stated.
“For someone like Lyoto in this business, a loss can change a lot in a person’s career. What’s misinterpreted was that if he was to do that he wanted it to make it worth his while. Maybe the things that were said, they got a little bit misconstrued, it was misunderstood, but Lyoto’s the same guy he’s always been, his heart of a fighter wanted to take the fight, but it just didn’t make sense for him to do it.”
With that offer clearly behind him now, Machida is moving forward and waiting for a call from the UFC for his next fight. Rumors have swirled about a few opponents, but Soares says they will be ready for whoever the promotion offers.
“What’s next for Lyoto is whatever the UFC wants,” said Soares. “We never pick our opponents, whoever they think is ready.”
Possibilities could include the winner of the upcoming fight in Brazil between Maurcio “Shogun” Rua and Forrest Griffin, as well as top ten light heavyweight Phil Davis. Nothing is set as of now, but Machida remains by the ready when the call comes in.
If he’s successful in his next fight, Machida and his representatives do believe he’s getting very close to a title shot. Machida is of course a former light heavyweight champion, and would love the chance to wrap that gold back around his waist.
“I believe Lyoto’s one or two fights away from fighting for a title,” Soares commented.
Machida will continue to train in Brazil while he awaits word from the UFC on who he will face next.